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Czech it out: Praga Bohema hypercar unveiled. Image by Praga.

Czech it out: Praga Bohema hypercar unveiled
The Praga Bohema is the £1.1m hypercar from the company youíve probably never heard of.
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What's all this about?

Another day, another electric hypercar from some Rimac-wannabe fly-by-night, eh? Looking at and hearing the name Praga Bohema, you could easily be forgiven for thinking that, but youíd be wrong on both counts. First off, this isnít electric ó itís powered by a highly-tuned version of the V6 engine found in the Nissan GT-R and, secondly, Praga isnít an automotive start-up but rather a very old and well-established Czech company, though probably one that isnít that well-known for its cars.

Still never heard of it...

OK, thatís not entirely surprising. The company was founded in 1907 and built everything from cars to buses to aircraft and everything in between. After World War II, the communist government in Czechoslovakia ordered to the firm to stop building cars (that was Skoda and Tatraís job) and to focus on trucks, buses, self-propelled anti-aircraft guns, gearboxes and other, more prosaic forms of engineering. After the Iron Curtain came down though, the company was free to do as it liked and made a name for itself building motocross bikes, racing karts and off-road endurance trucks. In 2011, it built a racing car (its first car since 1947) and followed it up with another one in 2012. That car, dubbed the R1, was joined by a roadgoing version, the R1R in 2016. Powered by a 2.0-litre engine from Renaultsport, the R1 became quite well-respected in motor racing circles, winning the Britcar endurance series in 2020 and thereís now a Praga-only class in the Britcar series as well as a one-make Praga series. So while you may not have heard of it up to now, Praga isnít exactly coming from nowhere.

So what's the Bohema all about?

Itís all new for one and doesnít share anything with the R1. In short, the Bohema is a sub-1,000kg two-seater, mid-engined hypercar with Nissan GT-R power, designed to meet a challenge laid down by the ex-F1 driver Romain Grosjean (a long-time supporter and brand ambassador for Praga, apparently) to build an ďuncompromised two-person road/track performance car.Ē The idea is that owners drive their Bohema to the track, take their helmet and race suit out of one of the 50-litre side pods (also big enough for a weekend bag), put in hot lap after hot lap on the Pirelli Trofeo R tyres and drive home again. The pace, Praga says, will rival that of most GT3 racers.

It's a purposeful-looking thing...

Well itís not a car for taking the family to Ikea, thatís for sure. There are no back seats for starters; instead, thereís a shelf for stowing your helmet at a track day with carbon bucket seats up front, all in the name of saving weight. So too is there carbon-fibre trim and liberal use of Alcantara, with badging inside indicating exactly where in the limited run of 50 cars that particular one was built. Those who do want to take their 3.0 CSL on a track day will likely be spending quite a bit of time delving through the menus accessed by the central infotainment touchscreen because, old-fashioned though the CSL is in its thinking, thereís plenty of bang-up-to-date adjustable features as well.

You mentioned something about low weight?

The Bohema is very light indeed ó 982kg with fluids, but without fuel. Thatís primarily achieved by the extensive use of carbon fibre for the chassis and body but also magnesium alloys and titanium throughout. The whole cockpit only weighs 34kg. Thatís without occupants, obviously.

Must be pretty Spartan then?

Not exactly plush, no. Itís accessed by a set of front-hinged butterfly doors and itís pretty cramped in there. ďNecessarilyĒ narrow, says Praga. That said, thereís still room in there for a pair of two-metre-tall adults (around 6ft 6in), with adjustable seats, a removable steering wheel and an adjustable pedal box. Thereís air-conditioning at least, operated by overhead switches like in an aircraft (inspiration was drawn, according to Praga, from its aircraft division), but there arenít any big infotainment screens. Navigation functions are instead afforded by an integrated spring-mounted bracket on the dashboard, which is to say you plug in your phone and use that instead, Dacia style. One feature which drivers may be keen on, however, is an in-built fire extinguisher operated by a switch on the dash.

What about the enigne?

Nissan supplies the 3.8-litre twin-turbo V6 from the Nissan GT-R to Praga which then sends them on to Gloucestershire-based Litchfield Motors for tuning. Litchfield is well-known as a tuner of the GT-R engine and has been known to extract more than 1,000bhp from the unit. Those arenít quite the figures that Praga is going for though, and the first thing that Litchfield does is convert the engines to a dry sump allowing them to sit lower in the car and removing the risk of oil surges or starvation under heavy cornering. The turbos are replaced too and the engine is then mated to a Hewland semi-automatic sequential gearbox. The target, Praga says, is 700bhp and 725Nm of torque which, considering its light weight should make it pretty brisk. No projected performance figures have yet been announced, but a top speed in excess of 186mph (300km/h) was mentioned.

Go on, how much?

The Praga Bohema will cost £1.1 million which is an incredible sum of money for a car of which most people have never heard. The company says it plans to start production on the Bohema in the second half of 2023, build around 10 cars next year followed by 20 per year over the next four years. Each example is set to be built by Kresta Racing, an outfit headed by the ex-WRC rally driver Roman Kresta which specialises in the preparation and building of high-spec rally cars.

Funnily enough, despite the fact few people appear to have heard of Praga, the UK is one of the markets in which the firm is best-known thanks to its motorsport endeavours, and it plans to open a global client visitor and specification centre in the UK next year.

David Mullen - 25 Nov 2022

2023 Praga Bohema. Image by Praga.2023 Praga Bohema. Image by Praga.2023 Praga Bohema. Image by Praga.2023 Praga Bohema. Image by Praga.2023 Praga Bohema. Image by Praga.

2023 Praga Bohema. Image by Praga.2023 Praga Bohema. Image by Praga.2023 Praga Bohema. Image by Praga.2023 Praga Bohema. Image by Praga.

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